Let me preface this with an acknowledgment that there is a barmy faction in society which uses left-wing pretexts for violence and aggression the same way ISIS uses the pretext of Islamism, or anybody, for that matter, acts like a dick under any pretext whatsoever. I hate all that. This piece is intended for the sphere of middle-England labour and conservative voters who, I believe, have more in common than they think. (Transcript below, along with a couple of other pieces...)
If you voted conservative, I gather you're probably having quite a hard time on social media right now. Perhaps you have become what are being called 'shy conservatives', people afraid to tell anyone how they voted. So I thought it's maybe worth talking about why you feel like that, and why left wing people get all shouty and ranty and upset so much. I've been guilty of doing this myself, in the last 24 hours.
This election was all about fear. We, as an electorate, were fed a lot of information to make us feel afraid that if we voted the wrong way, terrible things would happen. And everybody, no, almost everybody, cast their vote in good faith that they were doing the right thing. And probably felt there was no choice.
If you voted conservative, then you have my sympathy, because I think you were probably afraid. I think you were made to feel afraid that if the conservatives didn't win, then Britain would go bankrupt, Braveheart would be happening in the next door garden, and that tea shop you run would fold because you had to give Elsie a company car.
With the conservatives in power, you're going to be alright. Elsie can still do her zero hours contract work. Nothing bad is going to happen. I'll be alright, too. So will pretty much everyone else I know. So your fears can be assuaged.
People who voted for Labour were afraid, too. But we felt that even though we'd be ok under the Conservatives, we were afraid that sick people wouldn't get the help they needed when they needed it, children would be left vulnerable to abuse or hunger, and disabled people might get a bit screwed. So, with that fear, for ourselves and for those people, we voted labour. I'm not saying that to say 'that's why we're better than you, we are EXCELLENT PEOPLE'. Labour and conservative voters felt there was no other imaginable option. You, as a conservative voter, were trying to save the nation from bankruptcy, and they, as labour voters, were trying to save its most vulnerable people. It's kind of two sides of the same coin.
So when people go on facebook shouting about how cross they are that labour didn't win, it's because they felt they were trying to do the right thing, a brave thing, and it was all for nothing, and, perhaps most significantly, they are still afraid for those people. You, as a conservative voter, were trying to do the right thing, a brave thing. And you won. So you don't have that fear making you angry or upset any more. There's no point in us fighting. It's what all the politicians want us to do, maybe except for the Greens, who'd like to hug it out. So let's not fight. Let's try to understand each other a bit.
I don't believe that you're part of a tiny minority of people who voted conservative because you'd like to keep your non-dom status, and all of that six-figure bonus, and bring back hunting. The problem is that when you vote conservative, you are helping those people. And those people probably make quite a lot of us angry, don't they? So let's maybe try to be open to each others' ideas, and listen to each other. Most of all, let's make sure that we make those people we just gave employment to know exactly how we feel, every step of the way, on every issue.
Let's talk, too, about electoral reform. If we really believe in democracy, we should allow every vote to count, even if it's for a party we don't like. Maybe if we had proportional representation, we'd want to talk to our neighbour a bit more about why they are voting the way they're voting. Maybe we'd all feel a bit more empowered and free to discuss politics in a sensible and measured way. Let's not descend into rabid tribalism, because it's really not productive. I believe you are good, and I want to listen to you.
Do we have a deal?
Also, try these. They're mainly responses to pieces by Russell Brand, who I think throws up a lot of interesting stuff for discussion:
All Mouth No Trewsers #001
All Mouth No Trewsers #002